Fresh from success with the Oscar-winning Coco, Pixar producer Darla K. Anderson is stepping away from the animation company after a quarter of a century to pursue new projects and adventures. Pixar is, of course, one of animation's biggest success stories. After breaking new ground with Toy Story in 1995, Pixar rapidly went from strength to strength, partnering with Disney to release a string of hit movies enjoyed all over the world by both kids and adults including the Cars franchise, Finding Nemo and Wall-E.
For much of their history, one name that has been synonymous with Pixar has been that of producer, Darla K. Anderson. Anderson's first full-length producing credit came on 1998's A Bug's Life and thus began a career that included work on the likes of Monsters Inc., Toy Story 3 and Cars. The producer's most recent - and now confirmed to be final - producing credit for Pixar was for the company's most recent release, Coco, which scooped the Oscar for Best Animated Feature at last week's Academy Awards ceremony. In terms of personal accolades, Anderson has won the PGA Producer of the Year award for animated features on three separate occasions.
It has now been confirmed that Darla K. Anderson will be stepping away from the Pixar family. As reported by THR, the producer is seeking to pursue other creative and philanthropic endeavors going forward. An array of big-name colleagues have since spoken out in celebration of Anderson's Pixar career including Disney CEO Bob Iger and Pixar Chief, Jim Morris. Anderson herself had the following to say about her departure:
“I’ve had a magical and privileged experience working at Pixar for over two decades. The creativity, imagination, and innovation at Pixar is second to none. I’m truly grateful to have been a part of this historic journey, and hold excitement for my next chapter."
Given her impressive résumé and stellar reputation in the industry, Darla K. Anderson will be sorely missed by both the animation community and Pixar fans who have enjoyed her pictures over the past quarter of a century. Although Anderson may be stepping away from Pixar, the producer's statement does seem to imply that there is more to come from her in the wider world of cinema. Whether this will be as a producer or otherwise remains to be seen, as is whether she remains in the world of animation or turns her hand to live-action, but many will be eagerly anticipating Anderson's next career step, particularly after the critical and commercial success of Coco.
The departure of Darla K. Anderson does, however, mean that Pixar have lost another long-serving and highly valued member of their team after the controversial departure of chief creative officer, John Lasseter, towards the end of last year. Lasseter is currently taking a sabbatical from the company after a number of allegations were made regarding inappropriate behavior towards fellow employees.